Thus, friends, said Basche, I foresee that hereafter you will act rarely this tragical farce, since the very first time you have so skilfully hampered, bethwacked, belammed, and bebumped the catchpole. From this day I double your wages. As for you, my dear, said he to his lady, make your gratifications as you please; you are my treasurer, you know. For my part, first and foremost, I drink to you all. Come on, box it about; it is good and cool. In the second place, you, Mr. Steward, take this silver basin; I give it you freely. Then you, my gentlemen of the horse, take these two silver-gilt cups, and let not the pages be horsewhipped these three months. My dear, let them have my best white plumes of feathers, with the gold buckles to them. Sir Oudart, this silver flagon falls to your share; this other I give to the cooks. To the valets de chambre I give this silver basket; to the grooms, this silver-gilt boat; to the porter, these two plates; to the hostlers, these ten porringers. Trudon, take you these silver spoons and this sugar-box. You, footman, take this large salt. Serve me well, and I will remember you. For, on the word of a gentleman, I had rather bear in war one hundred blows on my helmet in the service of my country than be once cited by these knavish catchpoles merely to humour this same gorbellied prior.
A further account of catchpoles who were drubbed at Basche’s house.
Four days after another young, long-shanked, raw-boned catchpole coming to serve Basche with a writ at the fat prior’s request, was no sooner at the gate but the porter smelt him out and rung the bell; at whose second pull all the family understood the mystery. Loire was kneading his dough; his wife was sifting meal; Oudart was toping in his office; the gentlemen were playing at tennis; the Lord Basche at in-and-out with my lady; the waiting-men and gentle-women at push-pin; the officers at lanterloo, and the pages at hot-cockles, giving one another smart bangs. They were all immediately informed that a catchpole was housed.
Upon this Oudart put on his sacerdotal, and Loire and his wife their nuptial badges; Trudon piped it, and then tabored it like mad; all made haste to get ready, not forgetting the gauntlets. Basche went into the outward yard; there the catchpole meeting him fell on his marrow-bones, begged of him not to take it ill if he served him with a writ at the suit of the fat prior; and in a pathetic speech let him know that he was a public person, a servant to the monking tribe, apparitor to the abbatial mitre, ready to do as much for him, nay, for the least of his servants, whensoever he would employ and use him.